Border Patrol prevented from talking to media: report

Border Patrol prevented from talking to media: report
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President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE’s administration is preventing Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs from speaking to the media via an unofficial gag order passed down verbally, NBC reported Wednesday.

NBC reported that Border Patrol staff have been told to refer all media requests, even those from local outlets, to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffers in Washington and to deny all “ride-along” requests. The network attributed the information to officials who asked to remain anonymous.

NBC News had itself requested and was denied access to “overcrowded border processing facilities holding unaccompanied migrant children” according to its report. 

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A media representative from CBP did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill. However, a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the parent organization of CBP, told NBC it is following media procedures first adopted in 2014.

“This standard and process has been followed at DHS since the Department's inception and across bipartisan administrations. Customs and Border Protection continues to publicly provide the same monthly data on the same schedule as it has since 2014,” the spokesperson told NBC.

The new media rules were given verbally, not via an official memo, NBC reported. In response some border agents decided to release videos of mass arrests and surges of migrants on their own, without permission, NBC reported.

Though President Biden and congressional Democrats scored a significant early win when Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package into law on March 11, they have been challenged by a surge of immigrants at the border.